As a child, growing up in the late 90’s the era of good music and probably before the advent of African contemporary music, which I had the privilege to be part of, and like many of my peers, had fallen deeply in love with contemporary music; RnB, HipHop, Pop, Blues, Reggae etc and African traditional music which we listen to, especially at events or on special occasions. Highlife and gospel was the favourites of my parents unlike most of us children, we picked interest in the western music, though that doesn’t not mean we did not listen to African music but it was second to western music which was at the time taken over the minds of the young generation which we happened to be part of.
Coming from a poor background was never easy but as a child I did not know the difference because I had nothing to worry about. Though it denied us access to so many things but not music. My parents could not afford the most luxurious things in life but not radio and cassette player therefore giving us the opportunity to listen to our favourite music artists both local and international. And as I grew up I had access to other gadgets such as walkie talkie as we called it at the time (mp3 or pocket radio), which gave me access to music 24/7.
Learning the lyrics of the songs and singing them was a mission I never failed to accomplish. It’s a feat not many had. But to me it had become a hobby. Sleeping, studying and walking down the street or carrying out house chores, I always have my walkie talkie right beside me, my earpiece always in my ears and as the player plays I sang along caring less of what the next person said or what went on around me. I kept myself up to date with the new release of my favourite artists at the time. Never failed to pick every new tape in the market and getting myself acquainted with the lyrics are as important as life itself, I can’t do without it.
As I grow older, the addiction get more intense, now listening to music is no more enough. I have begun to desire becoming a songster myself so I started writing and composing. Though I had no access to musical instruments, I made due with what I had around me and recorded my rehearsals with my tape recorder as my walkie talkie came with one. Music so consumed me that when I got admitted into high school so many thought I was studying music but on the opposite I was studying computer. But I practice music more than I do my course of choice. At that moment I knew that I have something special with music and it will eventually give birth to a blossoming future.
High school opened another set of doors for me with regards to my music, met friends of like minds, coupled with the sprout of contemporary music in Africa, Nigeria especially, we took our musical career to another level, this time writing and singing together. Though I never recorded any studio tracks during my high school days, but some of my friends did. It never stopped me from performing with them on stage on several occasions which helped build my confidence and gave me the idea that I can do this. We headlined shows and events, played to unexpected crowds and sang every opportunity we had. Meeting them was one of the best things that happened to me in my university days. They were a source of support and inspiration. For once I found some people who believed in my dream.
Some months after graduation I dropped my first demo track which at that time did not gain the acceptance as I expected despite being played on some radio stations, performed on versus stages and played for few sponsors. It never earned me the record deal I hoped for but I never gave up. Few months later am on a mission to drop my first album since dropping singles wasn’t the in thing at the time. In fact it wasn’t in existence then. The album was to feature 10 tracks, but after recording few tracks, 4 to be precise, I ran out of resources because I had no sponsor or support not even my family members because they didn’t believe it’s something worthwhile but to arm myself with some tracks for my stage performances I was able to get one song out of the four songs recorded since I could not get all of them mixed and mastered.
For years the songs were in the archive of the studio which eventually got lost. I never got them because I had to pursue another career in ICT which was borne out of family pressure. While in this line of business, my life was far from complete and music never left me entirely. The dream of becoming a renowned musical act was so consuming that I never let the fantasy die within me. In between my practice, I do write my songs, hoping that one day I will be courageous enough to step into the studio once again to do what I love. Though music at first wasn’t paying but the practice wasn’t paying enough either. They want you to have your hands in something that brings food to the table. I didn’t blame them for that, they are just concerned and want me to be meaningful to myself and my family, after all music wasn’t as big as it is today in Africa. Musicians were termed as useless and people with no ambition. These terms and circumstances will make any feable minded individual to quit no matter how resolute you think you are.
Six years into the job I finally found my way back into the studio, and my first single was recorded. This time around it wasn’t the hit I hoped for, but it did gain a lot of acceptance and that gave me enough courage I needed to do more because almost a year later after appearing in so many stages both at home and abroad I was on the course to dropping my debut album. Just about 10 years after my failed attempt to drop my first album of 10 tracks I released my debut album of 15 tracks.
Like the old saying goes, “no time is late”. If it did not work out today does not mean it won’t tomorrow. Sometimes the disappointment we face today is tomorrow’s blessings in disguise, so we should learn to embrace whatever life throws at us at anything and make good out of them. If I had given up on my dream because it didn’t go the way I wanted or fall into depression because no one cared about my dream, I would probably make the situation worse to no one’s detriment but mine. And if not for the obsession I have for music right from childhood, I wouldn’t have recovered from the depth I had fallen out of the music lane. I was able to get back to music because I never let my obsession die. Do not let your desire for what you enjoy doing die as long as it’s something positive, no matter how they push you away from it. You may not have the physical and financial knowhow to withstand them today but tomorrow you could so keep your obsession close at all times. Take time also to nurture it while you wait. There’s always time to set your demon free.
Music and me has come a long way and still millions and millions of miles more to go. It has done a lot for me and I have given up a lot for it as well. Like in every relationship it’s all about sacrifices. Don’t think you can achieve it if you don’t give up anything for it; time, money, joy, friendships, even putting your life on the line. Build a good relationship with your career and watch it blossom.
Twinchild Edozie is a Nigerian South Africa based singer, songwriter and writer.
You can connect with Twinchild Edozie via his social media handles; twitter @twinchildedozie Facebook Twinchild Edozie instagram @twinchild_edozie YouTube Twinchild Edozie